Available free to download during Google’s ownership period, Nik Collection will be back in 2018 as a paid software, adding to the extensive number of solutions available for both Mac and Windows.
March 2016, Google announced the whole Nik Collection of plug-ins was available to download for free. Users did not need to pay the $150 it would cost to buy the whole collection, but there was a dark side to the announcement: Google also said that they were investing in photo editing tools for mobile, a note suggesting the desktop solution was not going to see any further development. And it didn’t.
Last October, that’s more than one year after Google’s announcement, DxO surprised everyone, announcing the acquisition of the Nik Collection assets from Google, and the intention to continue development of the Nik Collection. At the time DxO stated that the current version would remain available for free on DxO’s dedicated website, while a new version is planned for mid-2018.
“The Nik Collection gives photographers tools to create photos they absolutely love,” said Aravind Krishnaswamy, an Engineering Director with Google. “We’re thrilled to have DxO, a company dedicated to high-quality photography solutions, acquire and continue to develop it.”
“We are very excited to welcome the Nik Collection to the DxO family,” said Jérôme Ménière, CEO and founder of DxO. “DxO revolutionized the image processing market many times over the years with its innovative solutions, and we will continue to do so with Nik’s tools, which offer new creative opportunities to many photographers. The new version of our flagship software DxO OpticsPro, which is available as of now under its new name DxO PhotoLab, is the first embodiment of this thrilling acquisition with built-in U Point technology.”
The original Nik Software is a software development company established in 1995, and responsible for a series of plug-ins and tools for digital image processing applications. On September 2012 Google acquired Nik Software, and the original collection, which had a price around $500, was dropped to $150, and then distributed freely.
Available for Windows and Mac, the Nik Collection is comprised of seven desktop plug-ins that provide a powerful range of photo editing capabilities — from filter applications that improve color correction, to retouching and creative effects, to image sharpening that brings out all the hidden details, to the ability to make adjustments to the color and tonality of images.
This December DxO wrote a letter to users of the Nik Collection, wishing the community “a very happy holiday season and a healthy and prosperous New Year: may you be inspired to take spectacular photos in 2018!” It was the excuse to confirm that DxO developers “are enthusiastically working on a new version of the Nik Collection to be released in 2018!”
The announcement of the re-release of the software was received as an unexpected Christmas gift by a whole community of users and by everyone else who knows Nik Collection represents one of the most respected packages of software in the industry. While some expect DxO to develop the plug-ins further and even expand into video, where some of the special effects would be a welcome addition, everybody is curious to see how DxO will price the software, and if it will be sold under a perpetual license or through subscription. One thing users know: they will have to pay for the new version, something many will gladly do, in order to get the same effects in a program that irons out some of the bugs and, in the case of Windows 10, the compatibility problems.
The return of the Nik Collection by DxO serves the company, also, to remind users that they have a RAW and photo editor solution that many may want to add to their shopping list. The DxO PhotoLab, the new name for the old DxO OpticsPro – which didn’t say much about what the program could do – is being promoted by DxO these days, as an alternative, one more, to the subscription- only Adobe products.
The DxO PhotoLab software features U Point Technology, which was used by Nik Software for Nik Collection and continues to be one of the key assets of the editing solution. Originally developed for Nikon to use in their Capture NX software, the U Point Technology is considered to be one of the best tools for precise control of editing areas. Depending on how DxO implements the new Nik Collection, its own DxO PhotoLab may become a strong suite for photographers looking for, yet, another alternative for 2018, which is, no doubt, continuing to be an exciting period for photographers, with so many solutions to choose from. One more, with the re-release of Nik Collection, which is coming in 2018. While you wait, try the new DxO Photolab with U Point Technology.